(image from Goodreads)
by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith
I'm going to sound like Stefan from Saturday Night Live for a moment. Bear with me.
New York's hottest book is Stranger. It has everything. People with superpowers, squirrels that can teleport, singing trees...
(This is the part where you pretend to be Seth Meyers and say "Wait, what are singing trees?")
It's that thing... where trees shoot crystal shards at you and when you die, a new tree grows from your corpse and the color of your clothes determines the color of its leaves.
I'm not kidding. Also, the horses have been crossed with deer, there are trained rats, and raccoons regularly reroute the water supply to their little towns.
And that's just the SETTING.
This is a book set in a very strange world where most animals are terrifying and awesome and some people are Changed. Because of radiation. Which doesn't work that way but whatever; fictional radiation is always so much better than real radiation. (Just ask Marie Curie.)
The plot reminded me a little of The Book of Eli. A stranger shows up with a book no one can read, and his being there leads Bad Guys (tm) to the town.
I really enjoyed this. It's so incredibly diverse. I think there might be one white family in the entire town (I'm just guessing from the Irish name and can't actually remember if they were described as any particular ethnicity), someone's mother is deaf, and several people are gay.
I love Mia. She's so much like me - an engineering enthusiast who overthings everything, blames herself for thins that are very not her fault, and thinks something is wrong with her because she's never like-liked anyone.
The writing itself could have used one more pass of editing, and that's why I'm docking it a star. That, and all the many characters that I couldn't keep track of. And Felicite. She can go fall in a pit.